Freelance Heroes

Aug 02, 2012

Hi, and welcome to the "Freelance Heroes" thread, a place where Articulate Freelancers help each other. Got a question about freelancing? Or perhaps you have an e-learning asset that may be valuable to those "doin' their own thing"? This is the place to share--to give.

To start things off, I'd like to share a short list of questions that help me figure out what kind of training a potential client wants. (So often they have no idea what they want.) The list is far from exhaustive, but may be of some help. Looking forward to meeting you. --Daniel  

1293 Replies
Gary Williams

K2Share ( is bidding a Dallas-Ft. Worth-based project requiring use of Articulate Studio or, altenatively, Articulate Storyline. We have Articulate Studio experience but want to add additional capability on a temp basis. I'm seeking a freelance, experienced person who we could engage for this project assuming we win. It is for training a variety of different student types on the client's homegrown business application software. Work would be during the Fall and pretty much full time and then support/maintenance updates later in the year.

I'm looking for support for someone in DFW for this project as my first choice due to this being our first project with the client.

If you are interested in the current project we are bidding, please let me know. You can send me an email at

Bruce Graham

I did not know :( , however I celebrated it by (potentially) winning another client, having the doors of my new office fixed (again), getting treated for gout in my right-toe, and slow-roasting an entire shoulder of lamb which I will peek at after many hours at 2000hrs (UK).

So a strange day all-round really!

Happy Freelancer Day.


Belen Casado

Well, in fact my international-freelancers-day is being weird, too.

I made my first invoice in Excel (wow, how interesting) and I was told to change it because taxes are different than what I had set.

@Bruce, sorry for your toe, does it hurt? :(

I started listening to webinars at about 5pm (Spain), so this is a strange Friday evening.

As @Karyn's and @Sheila's, my evenings are non-working-time but the flexibility of my brand new freelancing-ness allows me to go to places in the mornings and then do some work in the evenings.

My dog Kira is also happy that I can be with her and go out more times a day...

Daniel Brigham

Sheila Cole said:

Yes, Happy International Freelancer’s Day! 

Daniel, I love your celebration plan.  And Karyn, you and I work the same way – my afternoons are often non-working-time, but I usually work a few hours in the evening.  Yay for flexibility!

Today I will celebrate my “freelancing-ness”  by working for a few hours at my favorite coffee shop instead of I my home office, and then enjoying the beautiful weather for a couple of hours…  since it’s Friday I may even ditch work altogether for the rest of the day after that (although of course that will mean working over the weekend).

Isn't it great to have the flexibility to say, "Nah, I'm not working today. I'll work tomorrow." Sort of like Freelancing Heroes meets Office Space. Happy Freelancer Day everyone--Daniel

Elizabeth Israel

One of the things that I have noticed while doing freelance work is to really act as a consultant.  I had a recent client who wanted to create a complex and time consuming online course.  After walking through the materials with the SME and reworking some of the existing materials, I suggested that she recorded the materials as a webinar and have a live Q/A after people went through the recorded course.  The client was thrilled, the evaluations came back stellar, she reduced the time required by 50%, and the ramp up time was reduced for the participants by 40%.  I think that although it's easy to think "I'm working myself out of a job", sometimes it's best to really determine what's needed and provide the client with several alternatives.  It seems that in the long run I look more credible and have the opportunity to gain more work since it's not just about doing the most expensive thing but rather doing what's best.


Bruce Graham said:

...and here's the promised "Pecha Kucha" version of most of this thread

Seemed reasonable to post it here too.


...and no matter how good you are and how many times you check your work, ALWAYS have another set of eyes (or 2 or 3) look it over. My weakness is grammer, but I still noticed a tiny error on slide 19:

"Do you know road it is..." is missing the critical word "WHAT". Easy to miss, the mind frequently fills in the missing information; especially for the person who originated the message. At least is wasn't anything awful like this School's unfortunate banner mistake.

To your point, being Freelance doesn't mean being alone. And the best network of people you can count on for answers is right here.

Bruce Graham

Owen - nice catch

You are absolutely correct, well-spotted (despite reviews by several others!).

Elizabeth makes an incredibly valid point - do not be scared to act as an advisor. I'm recently in a bid where the pre-bid "Any Questions" (online bidding site) allowed me to ask questions and make suggestions that have started a strong dialogue, This will (hopefully) give me an edge over the people who merely submitted a Proposal.

I also have another piece of work currently working for an advisor to a huge organisation. Basically, the script I got from the advisor needed major surgery. I did this and  suggested the changes to the advisor. They then re-wrote everything and sent it back to the client as their creativity. I have no worries with that, because again it moves you up the value-chain in everyone's eyes.


Sheila Bulthuis

I agree totally with Elizabeth and Bruce about the importance of being a true consultant!  A book I read fairly early in my career, Peter Block’s Flawless Consulting, has always resonated with me: He talks about the difference between being an “expert” (who comes in and “solves problems” with little input or collaboration from the client), a “pair of hands” (who executes on whatever the client asks for, no questions asked), and a true consultant, who takes on a collaborative role.  When I first read the book, this distinction really changed the way I looked at my work as part of an internal, corporate learning function, and it’s continued to guide the way I work with clients since I’ve gone out on my won – five years ago this week! 

Anyway, my point is just that I think it can be easy to fall into being just a pair of hands, which can be really boring for us and, in the end, not in the best interests of the client.  As you both pointed out, we usually deliver a lot more value by being more consultative.

Belen Casado

Now that it's true, that I'm really a freelancer, I feel as if the motivation had gone away.

I think that is because I've used a lot of energy to:

  1. Work for a company and for clients at the same time
  2. Get out the company and do a lot of bureaucratic stuff to become "independent"

Will I recover my energy and motivation?

I hope so... At least, I'd be interesting to recover them, now that I understand how amazing it can be to work on weekends...


Bruce Graham


What you are experiencing is normal.

I used to have a very well-paid hobby as a close-up magician - it was the best thing in the World. You got paid loads for going to parties, weddings and charity functions, and having fun

A lot of the guys went from doing the same as me to full-time professionals, and then began to hate magic - it lost the excitement.

The trick is to find some OTHER motivations, perhaps become recognised as the best Instructional Designer in Spain, to be on the HR lecture circuit etc. To keep "fresh", you need to keep doing different and new things.

We all have days like that - we all have projects that bore us completely - BUT WE ALL HAVE THEM.

Remember all the good things about being a Freelancer....

The bad days can be bad, really bad, but the good days can be OUTSTANDING.

Take care of yourself...


Belen Casado

Thank you very much, Bruce,

I really appreciate your support, you always find the right words!!

It's true that for a while it seems to have lost the magic, but... as you say, good days are outstanding and opportunities to find other motivations are there.

It reminds me Tom Kulhmann's article, if you've learnt with linear teachings, then it's difficult and needs an extra motivation to build a non-linear course.

If you've been working for someone else, like me, you've learnt how to be good at that, and now I need to develop my wild side.

Well, thanks again, I'll find the motivation: these forums, and especially some of their members, are of much help to it.


Karyn Lemberg

I'm about in the same place as you Belen, I was working for someone else until last December (and all we did there was linear, click & read)... But shortly after the company closed, through a previous work-mate I got a gov't contract almost right away, and have been freelance ever since. 

And now I'm international!! I just got a project from someone in Japan. 

I find there have been some projects that are so boring, I feel drained at the end of the day. (the ones that say 'nothing but click & read' grr ), but I find it easier to force breaks every couple hours or so. -- a dog sure helps with that!  And all the admin side that isnt fun, but gets easier - especially if you use online software for time-tracking/project management/ billing etc.  

Another thing that can help - is getting away - or just scheduled time-off. Just because you CAN work weekends, doesn't mean you should. Mini-vacations, as well as being refreshing, can really help stimulate the creativity you need to get back into the work. 

Belen Casado

Thank you very much, @Karyn and @Daniel,

Yes, that's exactly what happened. I was used to the linear, click & read (more than that: the rhetoric, really boring loooong speeches in boring "de usted" -highly formal- Spanish)...

I'm getting a new teaching from all of you: once we're free-lancers, we should take fresh air from wherever and put it into our lifes, courses...

Maybe we're contracted to build another boring click & read course, but now we know that in other projects we can do much more, we improve our skills by reading these forums and watching tutorials, we try new things, or even we take a day off to recharge our batteries of creativity...


I'm feeling better and better!

Don Hernandez

This looks like the perfect place to post this, because we’re looking for around twenty talented and engaged freelancers to participate in a paid proof of concept for one of our clients.

First, a short word about LearnCreate. We're out to make global opportunities in learning content design and development accessible to gifted freelancers from around the world. Some of our clients prefer competition-driven scenarios, where a base level-of-effort is required by the freelancer to win business, but others are simply looking for a vetted pool of talent to pick up small projects and design, develop and deliver short courses very quickly. It's this second group that is funding this study.

Here's what's in it for you:

All content design and development work will be paid for, and you will have the opportunity to act as the “voice of the freelancers” in establishing required inputs, turnaround times, monitoring activities, assessment processes, and pay scales for output. In other words, you will have a direct impact on the development of this business model from a freelancer’s perspective.

Discussion will begin in ca. two weeks, and the design and creation of prototype courses will begin in four to six weeks.

Please respond here or send an email to me at for details.

Unfortunately, due to the non-disclosure requirements of our clients, no detail other than what is posted here can be discussed publicly in this forum until the results have been implemented and analyzed. In the interest of transparency though, all relevant project data will be posted here upon completion.

Kind regards,


Sheila Bulthuis


Glad you’re starting to feel better about the whole thing!  I think motivation comes and goes in ANY job – freelancing is no exception.  Just keep reminding yourself that before there was nothing to work on but click-and-read, but now you have other possibilities on the horizon! 

Yesterday I walked into our living room and announced “I hate my job” (it had been a very trying day).  My husband answered, “Yeah, well, you should talk to your boss about that, maybe she can do something to fix it.”  I didn’t get the sympathy I was looking for, but I did get a good reminder that I’m the one in control of my work life.  J 

Belen Casado

Sheila, you (and your husband) are so right!

Now the power is in our hands.

I've seen that I'm a more demanding boss than the ones I used to have. What I like is that I decide whether I'll work long hours one day to have something done or I'll relax and go out for a walk...

My motivation is back: I've been asked to teach a 30 hour classroom course about instructional designing... Yes! I'm really looking forward to it. About 20 students will be there, some of them are classroom teachers, others are tutors, others have no experience at all. I'm willing to talk about what's going on in the e-learning world, which is a lot in fact!

Now I'm preparing contents and a check-list of what is needed in the classroom. The last time I taught was 2 years ago, after 7 years of doing it. Will I remember it? I think that I'll need to translate lots of docs of the latest trends for my students...

Have you ever taught about instructional design? Have you ever had to think in what we do from a teacher point of view? Any thoughts will be welcome. 

Thanks for all that I learn here every day!


Belen Casado

For sure I'll keep you posted, Sheila!!

I'd like to share whatever comes to my hands when preparing contents -in English.

Let's see how it goes, my first session will be next 19th October and I'll have access to their LMS -Moodle- so I can upload contents there.

We'll also talk about Adobe Connect...

Yes, I think it'd be interesting to share what I find, I'll keep you updated!


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